Let’s be honest: there’s pizza and then there’s pizza. There’s a wide margin between Dougie the Pizza Delivery Guy’s soggy, cardboard-boxed nightmare-grub for loners and the real primo stuff. If you don’t know what I’m on about, leave it to SPQR Pizzeria to illustrate the difference in spectacular fashion.
SPQR Pizzeria combines the talents of Tom and Natalie Gaden (Satchmo’s Den, Boombap Cafe), with the expertise of David Mackintosh (Pei Modern, Rosa’s Canteen), shooting for a new-wave Neapolitan style infused with the spirit of Roman street pizza. It may be naff to bandy about the old 'only the finest ingredients’ cliche here, but this the kind of place where the well-worn turn of phrase absolutely applies. Take, for instance, the pizzeria’s indulgent sourdough base that has been maturing for over a decade.
When it comes to weighing up whether to choose a red base or white base, there's plenty of options. In the red corner, the parma is a top choice, combining San Marzano, fior di latte, parma ham, rocket and parmesan. In the white corner, there’s the terrifically rich tartufo, complete with truffle paste, potato, rosemary and mozarella di buffula. The pizzeria prides itself on freshness and flavour. Clearly pizza doesn’t need to be riddled with ridiculous gimmicks, it just needs to be downright delicious – a box that SPQR well and truly check.
They’ve only been open a month, so this is the perfect opportunity to get in on the ground floor, so to speak. Short on time? Handily, SPQR cater for those just passing through, offering pizza by the slice on the front bar, with a can of beer thrown in for only a little extra shrapnel. However, a more complete experience awaits those that dine in, with DJs upholding a vinyl-only music policy from Wednesday to Saturday in ‘La Beatzeria’ (the best pizza pun you’ll read all day). SPQR throw support behind the likes of Northside Records and Wax Museum, too, inviting them to curate playlists for the weekend.
Words by Nick Mason
Image by Eugene Canty